Doepke Railroad Toys
It's 1955 and your daddy's rich. Imagine having
your own backyard railway. You'd be king of the
The Doepke Yardbird was truly a child's dream
come true. But it came at a hefty price - $34.95.
[Other ads showed different prices.]
At 34.5" long it was extremely sturdy as well as
heavy. With 40 feet of curved track the shipping
weight came to 86 pounds.
The example shown here was restored by me
several years ago.
The early version Yardbirds featured yellow decks
and deep end skirts.
The handcranks used turned wood handles
The drive truck could pivot slightly - limited by the
bicycle chain sideways movement.
The chain was guided by four rollers affixed to a
u-shaped guard. Very stout!
|Yardbird Trailing Car - 1955
A trailing car was added to the railroad line shortly after the initial Yardbird introduction. It cost an
additional $15.95 but came with some additional track. There were two styles produced. The first style
used the same frame stamping as the power unit and the same large diameter wheels. The second style
(as demonstrated by the un-played with original shown above) used a simpler frame stamping and
smaller diameter wheels. This second style foretold the changes that were to come the following year.
The end logo was not a decal. It was a glued-on
label. Note different end skirt design on this
second style car.
All four wheels on this trailing car were smaller in
diameter than the hand-car.